Fylde in bid to end bad away days

Turley - drives on his pack
Turley - drives on his pack

Kiwi back row forward Jack Turley is not the only one puzzled by Fylde’s chronic inability to win on the road.

It’s more than 12 months since they achieved that and Turley is at a loss put his finger on the reason why they have flopped so consistently away from the Woodlands.

Turley, who joined Fylde at the start of the season from Scottish rugby, said: “It would be nice to put it down to something and then be able to put it right and rectify it.

“I don’t know what it is – it could be a mindset thing, but when you put up a performance like the one we did against a good side like Coventry you would like to replicate it on the road.

“Going into our next match (against Hull Ionians on Saturday) there is going to be a lot of emphasis of getting that first win on the road and hopefully go on to secure our place (in National League One).”

Turley said Fylde were not alone in finding wins away hard to come by, though in their case their last one was away to Ionians as far back as the end of January, 2016.

He said: “It’s not just us – a lot of teams struggle on the road, so I am not making excuses but it is due time we got a win, that’s for sure.

“It is a question of converting how we played against Coventry into the next match. Every game now is a cup final.”

Turley showed outstanding form in the pack for Fylde as they battled back from 24-12 down to rattle off 19 unanswered points in the space of five minutes to turn the situation around entirely and claim a bonus point win that did much to aid their escape from the relegation area.

Turley said: “We made a good start and then obviously switched off.

“But we came up with a big performance when we needed it.

“Our backs were against the wall, but we stepped up when we needed to and got the five points.”

On this occasion Fylde managed to get back into a winning position, but starting slowly and conceding a significant amount of early points has been too regular an occurrence, as Turley concedes.

He said: “Unfortunately, we have found ourselves in this situation quite a lot this season.

“But that never-say-die attitude breeds pretty strongly in us, so against Coventry we came out swinging and played to the last minute.

“We put a lot of emphasis on the Coventry game.”

Turley is pleased with the way the move has gone since arriving at the Woodlands to play rugby and centre his business interests in the South Fylde area.

He said: “I am comfortable; I know my position in the team and have got my head around the kind of rugby we want to play, so I am really enjoying it and I can’t get enough of it.

“There are no plans to leave. I have a pretty nice set-up here, with the community and with work so there is no reason for me to leave.”

Turley is set to move into the second row for the trip to Humberside, while Evan Stewart and Anthony Bingham return to the squad after injury.

Back row forward Stewart has recovered from a shoulder injury, while winger Bingham is back after sitting out the mandatory three weeks after suffering concussion.

James Bailey stands down on the wing to give Jordan Dorrington a starting spot.

Lock Matt Garrod is sidelined with a shoulder injury that he aggravated playing for Lancashire’s Under-20s last weekend, so Turley moves up, allowing former skipper Stewart to return to the side.

Ben Vernon, an effective second half replacement against Coventry is on the bench.

Player-coach Paul Arnold said: “We have more lads coming back from injury and George Nott could come into the reckoning against Hull if he is not required by Sale Sharks this weekend.”

The Ionians match is the start of a two-week sequence, which is followed tomorrow week, with another fixture against a side below them in the table.

Arnold said: “We are going out to win both games, starting with Hull Ionians and even if we don’t win on Saturday I don’t think it is the end of the world because there will still be a lot of games left.

“We want to beat Hull Ionians and Blaydon to put daylight between us and them.”

Fylde are currently 12 points adrift of the second relegation place, but have played a game more than their rivals Ionians and Blaydon.

Fylde have again been preparing this week on Preston Grasshoppers’ all-weather surface, which is a welcome development, according to Arnold.

He said: “It has been a big help playing on an immaculate surface, rather than the mud at Fylde.”

Hull Ionians go into tomorrow’s encounter having lost 47-19 to another side in the lower reaches of National League One, Esher.

Fylde: Briers; Dorrington, Bedlow, Wilkinson, Armstrong; Smith, Dever; Wild, Burtonwood, Lewis, Gray, Turley, Stewart, Rogerson, Fairbrother. Replacements: Vernon, Bingham, Taylor, Loney, Lamprey. Kick-off 2pm